Race Recap: Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon

August 16, 2016

Lululemon Seawheeze

If I could pick a brand that I’d expect to host a killer half marathon, it would be lululemon. After this weekend, I can confirm that lulu knows how to throw a race!. This past weekend I ran the lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon and explored gorgeous Vancouver. I truly fell in love with Vancouver; it has a perfect outdoorsy, laid back, beachy city vibe and I loved seeing 13.1 miles of the city via the race and beyond during the long weekend.

As a huge lululemon fan, it was a no-brainer to do this race. A crew of us girls signed up the second sign up opened, and thank goodness we did, because it sold out in mere minutes. We also snagged an awesome rental house for the weekend, very far in advance (thanks Kristine!).

Because the race sign up is months in advance and sells out immediately, you can’t wait and see if you’re going to be available, you just need to grab your spot and hope that 10 months later you’ll be free to attend the race. Unfortunately a few girls in our original group ended up not being able to attend by the time race weekend finally came around, but we still had a solid crew of six.

SeaWheeze Race Expo

We arrived on Friday, five of us coming from SF and Evann traveling from NYC. First stop–the expo. There were a few vendor set ups and exclusive SeaWheeze gear. I liked what I saw, but didn’t end up buying anything. Apparently people started lining up a day before the shop opened to get first dibs on the exclusive gear. That’s some serious dedication. Lululemon also hosted a Friday night yoga class but we opted out because it conflicted with our dinner reservations (priorities, ya know?).

Race Morning

Our house was about 20 minutes from the race start, so we left at 6am, giving us plenty of time to get lined up for the 7am start. While I loved our house in Kitsilano, located right by the water in an adorable neighborhood, for the sake of race morning ease, you might be better off staying right by the convention center (a more downtown scene).

The starting line was pretty relaxed. The race starts by the convention center so we were able to use real bathrooms (race day luxury right there!) and easily jumped into our self-selected corral. Unlike other races, you don’t have to enter your expected time when you register. Without assigned corrals, you’re easily able to start with friends.

My preparation going into this race was minimal, but having done the SF half a couple of weeks prior, I was feeling good. My goal was to push myself and feel challenged, but not push so hard given my limited training. When you’re traveling for a race, as much as you want to do your best, you also want to be able to walk the next day and enjoy your vacation.

Lululemon SeaWheeze Race Time

At 7am we were off and running! Race morning felt surprisingly toasty. Perhaps the cool SF summers have already weakened my hot-weather immunity? Because of this, I made sure to grab water at just about every other water stop on the course.

I had heard the course was a beautiful route and until halfway, I wasn’t sure I believed the hype. Then we hit the seawall and it all made sense. We ran right along the waters edge for miles. The lululemon cheer squads were on point, in costumes, on yachts, on stand up paddle boards, keeping us entertained and energized.

After the seawall, we entered a park and this is where the race started to feel really long. Although we knew we were close to the finish, we couldn’t see it and the race seemed to never end. In fact, everyone I spoke to felt the same way and all our GPS watches said the course distance was closer to 13.5 than 13.1. Finally though, I saw the finish line and gave it my final kick, finishing in 1:52, a time I was very pleased with. At the finish we were rewarded with awesome medals, smart water, lulu hats, kind bars and grab-and-go breakfast.

seawheeze medal

The race was extremely well run. All the details were what you’d expect from lululemon and went above and beyond with fun signage and custom gear for runners (all runners received SeaWheeze shorts, hats and medals). As much as my group was exhausted after the race, we immediately discussed signing up for next year.

lululemon seawheeze recap

Sunset Festival

The night of the race, lululemon hosted a Sunset Festival in Stanley Park with more custom gear, yoga, food vendors, special SeaWheeze beer and performances by Chromeo, Youngblood and Dear Rouge. The festival was free for runners and non-runners could buy tickets. We spent a couple of hours at the festival but couldn’t hang too long because race day is exhausting! Fortunately my group was all on the same wavelength and headed home early to relax.

seawheeze recap

We all agreed that the race was scenic, energetic, challenging and well-run; something we would absolutely recommend to other runners. But really, the race was just one piece of an awesome weekend. Later this week I’ll share the details on how we spent the rest of our time in Vancouver.

lululemon seawheeze recap

Did you run SeaWheeze? What was your favorite part of the race experience?

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